The Incredible Years® Blog


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Carolyn and Wally invited by National Children’s Bureau to visit Northern Ireland

Carolyn Webster-Stratton and Wally visit Northern Ireland June 1-5, 2014 at the invitation of National Children’s Bureau (NCB)  

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Wally preparing to give his speech, with Carolyn

NCB Launch Carolyn was so excited to be invited to Northern Ireland this month to help launch the Incredible Years® (IY) Northern Ireland Co-ordination Project. While there, she had the opportunity to meet Ewin Poots, MLA, Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety as well as Dr. Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive, Public Health Agency. Both of these individuals spoke at the conference about the importance of supporting families by using evidence-based programs that promote positive parenting and children’s social, emotional and academic competence. Carolyn introduced them to Wally Problem Solver and they seemed to enjoy his company. To learn more about the National Children’s Bureau, click here.

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(From Left) Carolyn & Dina Dinosaur, Dr. Eddie Rooney and Wally Problem Solver, Caroline White, Deirdre McAliskey, Celine McStravick, and Maria McAleese with Molly Manners.

The objectives of NCB’s new launch is to promote effective implementation of IY, program delivery fidelity, and group leader accreditation as well as to help agencies monitor and measure the impact of their programs through evaluations. The leaders of this launch are Celine McStravick and Deirdre McAliskey from NCB. Following the conference, a cross agency steering group with administrators of schools, agencies and foundations met to discuss system implementation issues.

Carolyn with IY Ni staff (Deirdre & James)

Carolyn and Dina with James McGinley and Wally

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Molly, Dina, and Wally listen in at the conference!

At the conference, Carolyn gave the keynote speech to a group of IY group leaders and administrators. She talked about the Incredible Years® Parents, Teachers and Child programs, research outcomes, and some of the agency and clinician barriers to successful program delivery. The group seemed surprised to learn that over the past 10 years, 574 IY parent group leaders, 94 child dinosaur group leaders and 64 teacher leaders have been trained. Carolyn presented 8 key building blocks for disseminating the programs with fidelity in the “real world.” When faced with an actual technological barrier to her powerpoint and video presentation delivery, Wally Problem Solver helped Carolyn with calm down strategies and solutions for how to both hold the microphone and speak to the audience with confidence despite being unable to show her carefully edited video clips. As happens with implementation of evidence-based programs, this illustrated how to go forward despite unexpected barriers. She discussed how to overcome such barriers and the importance of delivering the programs with fidelity in order to get the best outcomes for children.

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After some technological barriers, Wally helped Carolyn with “calm down” strategies so she could finish her presentation

Caroline White, Head of CASP Early Intervention, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and an accredited Incredible Years® Parent Trainer, spoke about her successful implementation of the IY program in the Manchester area over the past 15 years area. She provided examples of ways she has addressed each of the 8 building blocks to promote quality delivery. She talked about the importance of an interagency infrastructure that includes administrators, policy makers, and IY mentors to coordinate efforts and outcomes and who are in consultation with the developer and IY trainers.

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From Left: Carolyn Webster-Stratton, Caroline White, Maria McAleese

Carolyn with Maria McAleese (IY Mentor for Parent Program)

Northern Ireland is fortunate to have an accredited IY mentor, Maria McAleese (who provides ongoing consultation workshops, coaching and authorized training workshops) as well as an accredited IY Coach and Mentor in Training, Peadar Mckenna. These dynamic individuals have already provided coaching and video review feedback to many group leaders. In the afternoon, Maria and Peadar each led separate groups of group leaders to discuss the training, coaching and support structure and to review their needs. Carolyn joined each of these groups to explain the rationale for the certification/accreditation process and to answer questions.

Carolyn with Peadar McKenna (IY Parent Peer Coach and Mentor in Training)

2nd day of Conference with Consultation Day

This day started with a visit to Colin Neighbourhood Partnership, a community center in Colin to learn about the Early Intervention Community efforts at delivering all the IY programs. The highlight of this event was two parents who talked about their experiences participating in the program.  Carolyn introduced Dina Dinosaur who talked about the dangers of violence and announced the birth of her new baby. Baby dina will be staying at this center to learn about all the ways she can survive by learning to problem solve and make good friends.

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Carolyn with the team at Colin Neighbourhood Partnership

Additionally, parent and child group leaders met to get a preview of what happens on group leader consultation days. Normally, consultation days only consist of 12 participants (6 pairs of leaders) from either parent or teacher or child IY programs, who present selected video clips of their IY groups and receive feedback regarding their personal goals. However, in order to illustrate the value of this approach, more than 30 parent and child group leaders attended to watch 4 group leaders show their video clips and receive feedback. Maria, Peadar and Carolyn took turns leading the discussion of these video vignettes and also led participants in role play practices.

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Carolyn sets up role play practice for group leaders

Issues discussed, modeled and practiced included the collaborative role of IY leader and coleader, how to help a parent work out her relationship with her child’s grandmother, how to trigger spontaneous role plays in conjunction with home activity reviews, effective use of buzzes, how to coach play times to assist children who are developmentally delayed or non interactive, and how to manage children in groups who are off task and not engaged in the learning. While barriers to videotaping were acknowledged, participants seemed to appreciate the value and immense learning opportunity provided from video review and self-reflective learning with peers and with a mentor or coach. Carolyn answered other questions about IY programs such as ways the School Readiness and Attentive Parenting Programs could be used as supplements, accreditation requirements, and the importance of being able to offer more sessions according to risk level of the population. Participants were enthusiastic and supportive of each other and hopefully achieved Carolyn’s “fun” goal.

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Full Consultation day group!

To learn more about the Incredible Years® Programs, visit our website: http://www.incredibleyears.com

~The Incredible Years® Team


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North Carolina Agency Shows Incredible Years’ Impact on Families

Thompson Child and Family Focus is an agency in North Carolina currently using The Incredible Years programs to teach parenting classes within their community. “Thompson is a non-profit organization operating three distinct campuses, each providing comprehensive education, treatment, and care for children (birth to 18 years) in need.” (Thompson website, http://www.thompsoncff.org/)

Thompson has sent a number of group leaders to Seattle for Group Leader Training, and they also have staff who are “Certified” group leaders, meaning they have gone through our certification process to ensure they are implementing the program as it is intended, with fidelity (this is vital for evidence-based programs!). It is clear the commitment this agency shows to high quality standards pays off in the outcomes they see with their families.

Recently, we were sent a powerful video discussing the work they do and the impact of The Incredible Years parent classes on the community. Though they have a number of campuses, the video focuses on the work being done in the Grier Heights community, which is host to high crime rate and unemployment.

According to the video, many of the parents are single mothers, searching for a stable income, and are experiencing numerous stressors. Says group leader Shunta Daniels, “Regardless of whether you come from a high socio-economic class or a low socio-economic class – parents want the best for their children.” The parents attend the classes for 16 weeks and learn to build positive solid foundations with their children.

“The parenting class has been an experience – a wonderful experience – and not an experience that I expected. It’s been a learning experience, it’s been a growing experience – it gives you a greater respect for yourself and other people.” (Quote from parent in video.)

Be sure to watch video at the top of this page, and share with your friends! You can also view this on our website, in the testimonials section.

If you are a parent interested in attending an Incredible Years parent group, click here. 

If you are interested in implementing the Incredible Years programs through your agency, contact us!

 


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Parent Testimonial: “It does work!”

This past week we received an e-mail from one of our parent group leaders in Colorado. She shared with us a lovely testimonial, written by one of the parents who had just completed a 14-week parent group. This parent expresses her experience with the class, and we wanted to share it with you all!

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Message from the group leader: 

I wanted to share with you this e-mail I received after finishing the Incredible Years parenting program last night. We were so touched by the e-mail that we wanted you to see it. I have facilitated the group for the past 8 1/2 years for a total of at least 17 sessions and I continue to get responses like this one.

Message from parent:

I just wanted to thank you both for the wonderful set of parenting classes that we just finished. At first, when we started, I thought, “Oh My! 14 weeks! That is a long time…”

Then, while we were doing the classes, my thoughts turned into “Oh my! How am I going to remember all this and put it into practice??” 

As we went on, I was feeling sad and deprived if I had to miss a class… it was such a great reminder to stay on track with what we had learned until then, because little by little, each piece of the puzzle was fitting perfectly and it was all starting to make more and more sense…

By week 14, I saw how necessary it was to actually have all that time for all the information provided, to make sense and to be able to learn to apply it. It works…. no matter how reluctant we may have been at the beginning, you won us over. It does work! 

This class was a life changing experience for me. It taught me that being a parent is the most important job in my life and that it was also the one that I had the least coaching, education and training for. Now, I can see how I can help my children become better people. This class taught me that… it made learn and mature and be a better parent, and that is just priceless. I will never be able to thank you enough, never.

I wish that every parent would be willing to do the class and commit to do it, the effort that it takes to do it compared to what you get out of it has NO comparison. Now I feel more confident on how to behave with my kids, how to be a better mother, a better wife and I feel so much happier. Thank you for giving me this gift. It is a wonderful feeling and I very much appreciate it.

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Additional comments from parent:

The way it us all set up with child care and food, it just does not get any better…

The information given and the way it was presented was extremely useful and I got the book to keep reminding me what to do if I ever feel lost. It was absolutely wonderful. I would recommend it to anyone in a heart beat. Thank you for offering this program, it was a treat and joy.

~The Incredible Years Team